Step 1: Make a giant hat
We always watch the derby, but this year I decided I needed a proper hat. I ran to Michael’s with my 20% off everything including sale items coupon and found some supplies. I decided to go with a fascinator style so I didn’t need to buy a hat as the base. I found a headband at the dollar store and attached flowers with floral tape.
It took a couple failed attempts before I figured out how to attach the flowers, but the result turned out pretty good.
I look crazy in this pic.
Step 2: Mint Juleps
Obviously you need mint juleps. They’re best in mint julep cups too, I found these copper cups on Amazon. I know they’re supposed to be silver, but it was hard to find food grade silver julep cups that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, so I went with these. They can always be used for Moscow Mules in the future.
I bought 3 different bourbons that were all ranked pretty high and all were under $20. Old Forester (95 rating Ultimate Spirit Challenge) $17.99, Watkins Select Bourbon (89 rating Wine Enthusiast) $16.99 and American Pride (because ‘murica) $10.99. Old Forester had the most character and Watkins was the smoothest. American Pride is a good mixing budget bourbon, although I think I prefer Cabin Still or Old Grandad.
For the julep I mixed 2.5 oz bourbon .5-1 oz simple syrup (I like mine less sweet so I cut back on the SS), muddle the mint in the palm of my hand per Robert Duvall’s instructions in “Thank You for Smoking” and pour over crushed ice.
Step 3: Place your bets
To make it a party we printed off the early races and picked our horses. Betting on the early races makes watching the whole day of coverage more interesting. I have no pictures of this, but I did pick 2 of the winners!! The derby itself is only 2min so you need something to do while you’re wearing your hat drinking mint juleps.